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Subj: Re: I've already done my work...
Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2021 at 08:51:31 pm EST (Viewed 136 times)
Reply Subj: I've already done my work...
Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2021 at 05:58:11 pm EST (Viewed 140 times)
I can acknowledge that Kurt Busiek is a good writer, even though I don't like his work. I think Cates is a bad writer by most metrics.
LGDB: Great so you acknowledge the distinction I have been trying to make. Okay, so now the question is what are the metrics and let's look at some examples and see if it holds up.
Why? The work can be bad because it strays from the source material to the point where it is unrecognizable to long-time readers, thus making it unappealing. Some writing can be technically on-point but leave readers with a bad taste in their mouths.
I would say this is different from Cates, who I think is just a bad writer on even a technical level. Which I detailed rather well in my early reviews, IMO.
For example, the fate of the universe being on the line with [whatever that stupid villain was; Black Winter?], and Galactus and Thor continually trying to provoke each other, sabotage the effort to repel Black Winter, belying the seriousness of the situation or why Galactus sought out help in the first place. These are literary choices that sabotaged the readers' sense of the threat. Thor and Galactus were both acting petty, and frankly stupid. The story ended up being a mess, with Galactus as a character being turned inside out for... what?
LGDB: First, I don't think the idea of writing straying from the source material is unto itself bad. As you mention, it can be technically good. If so, then my that measure the writing isn't of poor quality. There's a difference of course between the writing itself being bad, and your not like the choices a writers makes in the story or for the characters. A perfect example of that for me is Jane becoming Thor. I didn't like that choice, but I think despite my not liking that occurrence the story is very well constructed and executed.
Was there a specific post you feel like you best illustrated him being a technically bad writer. I've seen you claim that quite a few times, but haven't really seen where you made a good case using the text.
This point you make about the Black Winter and Thor and Galactus fighting is precisely the kind of thing I've been looking for. Again, I disagree with you, I'll explain why, but I think at least this is grounded more thoroughly in the text and judging it against stated criteria.
So specifically here, Thor or Galactus acting in a short tempered or short sighted way and doing some infighting to me isn't poor writing. You have two characters who aren't exactly known for having the coolest heads. Thor's extremely hotblooded and Galactus is prone to outrage when question by those he thinks are inferior to him. That, during the course of their mission, that they would lose themselves from time despite the serious threat is sort of missing the point. My military experience (for me) sort of verifies this. That is when you have two people who are working together and there is no established leadership (that the two parties agree on) they may begin this kind of infighting. Not despite the high stakes, but because of it. Both parties in this case think that the world is going to end, and become enrage, frustrated, distrustful when they think the other party is not only not helping but doing things that will compromise the mission. And again you have two characters that aren't known for their diplomatic temperments.
Moreover, especially for Thor's part, this wasn't a situation that he elected to deal with. Galactus collapses in Asgard demanding that Thor help him because the universe itself is at stake, and Thor has to choose to work with what he understands at a cosmic carnivore at a planetary level in order to stop an even bigger threat. It stands to reason that Thor would have particular antipathy for Galactus (someone who he's suspicious of the whole time during the quest) and he's doing all this under duress and desperation. And Galactus doesn't trust that Thor will do what he should to prioritize the salvation of the universe over any other interest; while Thor believes that Galactus is committing literal genocide not because it's the only way to generate the power to stop the Black Winter, but because he doesn't care about the collateral damage in the first place and is cutting corners at a planetary-genocidal scale. Now you might not have chosen to go in that direction with the story, but I think as such, not nearly as "ridiculous" a set of circumstances or characterizations as you indicate. It almost might be a dumb move all things considered. But not the kind of "dumb" thing these characters wouldn't do given the intensity of the circumstances.
To this end, I'd say the idea that we the reader are aware of the stakes (which are ultimate and constant) but are character's own personalities are somewhat getting in the way, and blocking the most direct path to salvation is an element that adds to the tension, it isn't something that denies the stakes. It's like when Frodo and Golem are fighting over the One Ring above the fires of Mordor. The fact that they're distracted by their own petty struggles while the fate of the entirety of Middle Earth hangs in the balance only serves to increase the tension, not diffuse it.
The last three seasons of Game of Thrones were among the most watched in TV history, thus the most profitable. Were they good? Or were readers already invested in the series thus tagged along for the ride in the hope that something could be salvaged and resolved?
LGDB: Yeah that's certainly the case, I think by their own report. But there's little evidence that the only reason that people are reading Thor books now is because they like old comics and can't let go. In fact, I think the books sells far better than it has earlier before you know it was "completely ruined." More to the point if you go on Twitter, you'll see there are plenty of fans.
You mean like critics being too old to 'get comics'? Oh wait, you said you were joking! Haha, I forgot. It's almost as if you were called on something, were embarrassed, and came up with an excuse.
LGDB: If you think this is embarrassing then you've never seen me do stand up lol Honestly, the idea of being embarrassed on a message board is down right pathological. But I'll tell you what, if you feel like the lynch pin of our argument is about how I said old people are fuddyduddies or old Thor fans are bitter then by all means keep at it. Here's my excuse... anybody that would take exception to this is too sensitive about getting older. Excuse me lol
I already told you. Repeatedly. If I don't like it, it's bad. That's the only criteria I have to give to express that point. Thankfully I've explained WHY I don't like it, and you are welcome to follow the links I've kindly provided. Go try picking apart my previous critiques. Yes, that's a challenge. Post your critiques of my points and we'll go through whether or not they are valid.
I've done my work, time to pony up.
LGDB: Oh dude, lol I'll leave aside the "if I don't like it's bad" tautology. I'm going to "pony up" I was being fair to give you the opportunity to pick a post. You don't want to, fine by me. But I thought it was only fair to give you the opportunity.
So I invite you to go through my reviews, where I've done this, and counter my points.
LGDB: for now look at my point about your short points about why Thor and Galactus infighting was "ridiculous."
Where did you challenge me on specific points I made in those reviews? Seems to me that you just said, 'Not good enough!' without any substantive counter-argument
LGDB: You're getting lost in the antecedent here. At some point you said that you had written some long essays that were assumably more robust criticism, and you set a bunch of links of posts that were bulletins of your complaints after reading the comics. I'm still going to pick one and demonstrate my point, but here when I say questioning the validity of evidence, I meant evidence that you had actually at some point taken then time to justify your criteria of judgement and going through the evidence in the text... as opposed to just a bunch of posts that are naming things you don't like or hyperbolically asserting things are stupid, crazy, or don't make any sense. Or the very vague criticism "the writing is SO bad." I'm still going to go through one. But between responding to these, breaking down why I think the end of the Blake story, and the fact that it's New Years Eve, it's not going to be hot and ready immediately. I do have Scotch to drink and people to kiss lol
Funny, you set criteria in this very thread that I've met. Specifically unrealistic and nonsensical dialog and character behaviour.
LGDB: No, I'm saying that it doesn't meet the standards of a critical argument. Unless against just claiming things are bad or stupid or poorly written counts as an argument. Now in all those posts you sent me, SOME of it might include actual argument disputable by analysis of the text (like some of your response here does) but it mostly includes again just blanket judgments and undefended accusations of badness. Now OF COURSE there's nothing wrong with that a post, because most of theres are far more casual reviews. The problem is now you're trying to pass them off as some kind of analytical/critical essay and saying, see I met your standard. Now you sent me a bunch of stuff you posted of various levels of casualness, most of which you're not even trying to defend your criteria. You're just taking it as given. And like I said, it would be easier if you had just stated an actual argument, or indicated which one you think approaches being an actual argument. Instead I have to wade through a lot of these opinion turds, to hunt for the "good" diamond argument that I don't actually know will be there in the first place.
We literally did this several times, and I'll be waiting for you to finally address it with the Blake story. And for that matter the Galactus / Black Winter story, where I outlined how ridiculous both Thor and Galactus acted as the 'threat to end all threats' approached. Feel free to explain how the Thor / Bill incident made any sense, as well. I also outlined that in my reviews
LGDB: Here I already covered how Thor and Galactus acted. Which Bill Thor incident are you talking about? And what way does it makes no sense? Is it that they fought at all? How the fought occurred? What their stated reasons were?
I said that my critical opinion (that Cates is a bad writer) is a function of my entire critique of his writing, which consists of many different parts. You said you understood this, then asked me to slice up my critique so you could dispel a single part. ????
So either you didn't understand what you said you understood, or you're playing games with me. Which is it?
LGDB: No what I'm saying is that this is an absolutely disorganized way of thinking something through. Are you saying that your argument of Cates being a bad writer is the preponderance of all your complaints against him? Well if all the complaints are specious or arbitrary or unfair then it's not a very good argument. It doesn't make any kind of sense that you wouldn't be able to generally summarize the larger principles by which he's a bad writer. And it shouldn't be the case that you can't think of a particularly strong example of where you really flesh out your criticism.
What I understand is this: you shouldn't need to link to a dozen separate casually organized posts to point to a single example that you think strongly illustrates your position. Honestly if your thesis take 12 posts to establish or it takes you 12 tries to make a strong case and your still not sure which one it is. I mean talk about games, playing this weird "guess which hand the good argument in" thing is certainly up there.
---the late great Donald Blake
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